The Vegvisir - An Ancient and Sacred Norse symbol of Protection and Guidance
In Icelandic, Vegvisir (pronounced VEGG-vee-seer) means "that which shows the way". It is among the oldest and most sacred of Norse symbols and if disected, vegur means road and visir means guide.
The Vegvisir has, for a long time, played a vital role for both sea farers and shaman's alike. For those who loved the sea, the Vegvisir is believed to show them their way home. The symbol was carved to protect sea faring men and their ships especially during stormy weather. It is meant to bring luck, protection and blessing for those who ventured out to sea. The Vegvisir is often mentioned in sagas by sea farers; “If this sign is carried, one will never lose one’s way in storms or bad weather, even when the way is not known.”
The same can be said in the world of Norse magic. It is a spiritual compass meant to guide your heart to make the right choices in life. For those who have lost their faith and belief in themselves, the symbol is meant to help them find their way back. In sagas, many Norse Shamans use the Vegvisir symbol to help them foretell of the future. One such Shaman in Völuspa by the name of Völva received from Odin himself his necklace and several rings as payment for foretelling his future. It was she who foretold of Ragnarok and the end of the world.
The Vegvisir is composed of eight Viking runic staves. Not to be mistaken for the Helm of Awe, the Vegvisir's eight runic staves respectively stands for the four cardinals and the four directions between mandrels. All in all, they stand for the north, south, east, west, northwest, northeast, southwest and southeast. The central point of the symbol is a representation of Midgard. In Norse Mythology, Midgard is known to be where the humans lived.
And while the true origin of the Vegvisir is, to this date, still in dispute, it remains to be one of the more popular Norse symbols used today. It is used as a symbol of Icelandic culture and to those of Asatru faith it is used to identify themselves and their faith for spiritual guidance.